One thing I’ve learned in my blogging adventures: there are an insane number of administrative tasks. And those tasks can seriously hurt your productivity.
Tasks like website maintenance, social media scheduling, and responding to emails can consume whole days, if not whole weeks.
I admit that administrative tasks bring a certain amount of satisfaction to my to-do-list loving self. But they distract from my real goal of creating meaningful blog posts to help people.
For me, focusing on administrative tasks was a slippery slope. It started small – a few hours here or there completely devoted to administrative tasks. Until one day I looked at my blog and realized it had been weeks since I’d created a new blog post.
To refocus my attention on what really mattered to me – creating meaningful content – I had to make some changes. Little by little, I implemented the changes below. These changes helped me to decrease the time spent on administrative tasks and increase my productivity. Now I have more time to create blog posts, videos, and pictures.
And I am so much happier and fulfilled because of it. I hope that my experience can help you reach a similar state of happiness and productivity!
1. I got help with website issues
Before I started my blog, I had very little experience with developing websites. Because of that lack of experience, I struggled whenever I encountered technical difficulties. I spent hours researching how to fix website issues. Often, my “fix” would cause a different kind of issue.
All that time researching website issues took time away from creating blog content. I realized I needed to stop trying to do it all myself and needed to get help with website issues.
My first step was to look at the services I was already getting. I wanted to see if I was already paying for website help that I wasn’t using. And I hit the jackpot.
I’d been using SiteGround as my web hosting service since I started my blog. But I’d never asked them for help with technical issues on my website. What a mistake. When I started asking them for help, they responded almost instantly. And they were always able to fix whatever technical hole I’d dug myself into.
Now when I need help with a website issue, the SiteGround team is my first stop. I no longer spend hours researching website issues. I can instead focus on productively creating content for my blog.
2. I embraced the concept that “perfect is the enemy of good”
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time perfecting your blog posts, videos, and photos.
But I’ve discovered that my very first effort is usually my best effort. The additional hours I spend editing a project usually don’t add a lot of value.
Plus, spending time perfecting one project means that I’m not working on other projects. Other projects that could be helping people instead of just languishing on my to-do-list.
So I’m embracing the concept that “perfect is the enemy of good.”
To implement this concept, I’m trying to spend more time writing and less time editing. In the past, I’d stop every few moments to read and edit what I’ve written so far. And then re-read and re-edit. I’d stop to edit so often that it was taking me a long time to draft a single blog post. Now I try to write the first draft of a blog post all at once. Then I begin the editing phase after I’ve written my first draft. It’s led to a much faster editing process.
I’m applying the same concept to my video and photography editing. I now select the first clip that catches my attention in a video and accept my first round of edits to a photo.
You may find that like me, your first instinct is usually your best instinct.
Because I’m spending less time second-guessing myself and re-editing, I’ve been able to increase my productivity and publish more content.
3. I asked for help with website design
Although I knew very little about developing websites before I started my blog, I still had high expectations for how my website looked and worked.
I’d spend hours (that seeped into days) searching for instructions on how to change my website’s appearance. The instructions I found inevitably didn’t work for my website theme. Then I’d have to undo the change and begin the search process again.
I realized that I should just ask the developer of my website theme for help on how to implement changes.
So I subscribed for website theme support. Whenever I want to change something or have a question about the website theme, I submit a ticket to the developer. The developer then replies with instructions or sometimes code to implement the change on my website.
Hours of my time were suddenly freed up. I could focus my time on creating content. In my opinion, it was money very well spent (especially since I regularly take advantage of their assistance!).
4. I prioritized creating content
I’m a to-do-list connoisseur. For this reason, I often prioritize quick administrative tasks so that I can check things off my list.
But over time, I was spending more time on administrative tasks than I was on creating content. And that just didn’t make sense for my blog. So I reprioritized to always focus on creating content first.
In the past when I only had a little bit of time to work on my blog, I would spend it answering emails or doing website edits.
It’s true that there is satisfaction in checking off administrative tasks on your to-do-list. But it’s much more satisfying to increase your productivity in a way that creates meaningful content to help others.
5. I re-subscribed to social media scheduling tools
When I first started blogging, I immediately invested in social media scheduling tools (like Tailwind). These tools helped me to plan and automate my social media posts.
As I learned more about social media, I decided I could manually schedule social media posts myself. Then I wouldn’t need the extra expense of social media scheduling tools.
Goodbye social media scheduling tools, hello huge time suck.
Because I’d used social media scheduling tools from the beginning of my blog, I immediately recognized what I was missing without them. Here are the things I missed the most:
- Easy scheduling to multiple boards on Pinterest. On Tailwind, you load a single pin, select multiple boards, and then select an interval to space it out. When you try this same process manually on Pinterest, you have to create a unique pin for every board and every time you want the pin to post. It was a major pain.
- Automated posts to Instagram. I’d been using Later to schedule my Instagram posts in advance. When I temporarily stopped using Later, I would forget to post or didn’t have time to post. So I ended up losing followers and likes because I wasn’t posting consistently.
- Posting multiple pins. Tailwind allowed me to find a bunch of pins quickly and schedule those pins to post throughout the next few weeks. When I stopped using Tailwind, I felt like I had to be on Pinterest daily to find pins to repin. Since I didn’t have time to do it every day, I saw a drop in my Pinterest views. Major bummer.
So after going through the experience above, I decided to re-invest in Tailwind and Later. To me, the investment is worth the time savings. In the time saved, I could focus on creating content. Plus, using the tools led to an increase in my followers, views, and likes because the tools helped me to consistently post on social media.
6. I stopped A/B testing on Pinterest
I love A/B testing on Pinterest in theory. It lets you test out different titles and images to see which ones get the most clicks.
But A/B testing consumed a huge amount of my time. The time spent coming up with different titles, creating new pins, and scheduling the pins really added up.
And you know what I discovered with A/B testing? Pinterest “rewarded” my first post of a particular article. It rewarded it so heavily that the “B” posts rarely received nearly as many clicks as the “A” posts.
While I’m sure A/B testing works great for a lot of people, I found that the cost in time far outweighed any benefit I received.
Now that I’m not A/B testing on Pinterest anymore, I can spend more time writing new articles to post to Pinterest. Posting my own unique content has raised my Pinterest views more than anything else.
7. I stopped constantly changing my website appearance
In the blogging world, there are so many examples of amazing websites.
And with those amazing websites comes lots and lots of inspiration to make changes to your website.
But each of those changes can consume a lot of time (especially if you have little experience in developing websites).
I was at a travel conference recently where some established bloggers spoke about how their websites evolved over time. Those bloggers were mentioning 2 or 3 versions of their websites over many years.
In comparison, I was making updates to my website appearance every few weeks. So after a couple of years of blogging, I already had more than 10 versions of my website.
Instead of spending time modifying their website’s appearance, those bloggers were focusing on creating meaningful content for their audience. And it was the content that was drawing readers and helping people, not the website appearance.
So I changed my strategy. Instead of making changes to my website appearance each time that I’m inspired, I write down notes about changes I want to make. I then make those changes once a month. During that time, my vision becomes more clear and I spend less time changing my mind and reworking my changes.
By spending less time on website appearance changes, I’m focusing more on content. And I’m so much happier because of it.
I hope these tips help you to increase your productivity and create some amazing content. And in the process, increase your fulfillment and satisfaction. Happy blogging!